Sunday, October 30, 2005

Joint Status Report on Microsoft's Compliance with the Final Judgments : U.S. v. Microsoft Corporation

For any company, to be accused and then found guilty of illegal anti-trust practices has to be hard. The Microsoft anti-trust case must be particularly hard. I've seen first hand some of the issues raised by the consent decree issued 4 years ago. And I continue to feel that MS has been a bit hard done by.

The anti-trust case has been going on for a long time. And that makes the recently published Joint Status Report on Microsoft's Compliance with the Final Judgments : U.S. v. Microsoft Corporation interesting reading. It's very clear that Microsoft is doing a significant amount of work to comply with the judgement. Reading the progress report, I can't help feeling MS is doing a great job and taking it hard on the chin. Documenting the network protocols is a really hard job. I've done thousands of hours of Netmon tracing and analysis to contribute to my TCP/IP book efforts and I've written enough technical documentation on network protocols to know just how hard this is! The status report gives some praise where's it's rightly deserved.

The most interesting part, for me, is the discussion of Project Troika. The consent decree "... calls on Microsoft to create a series of Network Monitor (or "NetMON") protocol parsers and to use these parsers in conjunction with other proprietary components to compare the information in the documentation against actual client-server network traffic." This sounds at first sight like Netmon+++ and I'd love it! Please, please, please?!?!?!

Unfortunately, Troika has proved to be somewhat difficult to deliver. As the progress report says at the time Microsoft agreed to the Troika project, nothing like it had ever been undertaken. Quite frankly, Microsoft did not fully appreciate the scale, complexity, cost, and duration of the project. Further, Microsoft overestimated the capability of existing technologies to meet the requirements of the effort. This is unfortuante. but I can certainly understand the difficulties involved.

I'm sure Troika is going to be of great benefit to all us die-hard Netmon fans. FWIW: I want Troika!! Whenever it comes! And if anyone at MS is reading this, can I get onto the beta?? Like now??

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